Amazon Tightens Security After High-Profile Hack
No longer can customers change account info over phone
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2012 12:04 PM CDT has tightened its security after hackers broke into a journalist's account last Friday and used that information to break into his other devices and email accounts.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Amazon has clamped down on security following last Friday's high-profile hack of Wired reporter Mat Honan's digital identity, which began by breaching his Amazon ID, reports Wired. Customers used to be able to call Amazon and change account information as long as the caller could present name, email address, and mailing address. But as of yesterday morning, account settings could not be changed by phone.

A 19-year-old hacker who broke into Honan's Amazon account on Friday was able to scan his billing information and see the last four digits of his credit card. Unfortunately, those four digits were enough to trick Apple's customer service into giving out Honan's information, allowing the hacker to blank all of his devices and break into his email and Twitter accounts. Apple has likewise since suspended customers' ability to change passwords via phone, notes Wired.

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Aug 8, 2012 3:16 PM CDT
Allowing changes via phone is not necessarily a bad idea. If the phone that is calling is the same one on the account and the customer can provide a pin or password. Then the password can be reset to a temporary password that is sent via sms to that phone. Yes I know that spoofers can make it look like they are calling from a different number. But intercepting the temporary password is much more difficult. It also provide a heads up to the account holder that someone is messing around. The pin/password will help guard against people using your phone.
Aug 8, 2012 1:06 PM CDT
I had no idea phone-call password changes existed. Which is literally the dumbest thing I've heard in a while.